Built in 1931, this Beaux Arts mansion just a few miles up the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., was ready for an update. Portions of the original site had been chiseled away by encroaching projects, and the home’s original elegance was obscured by a dated interior.
But updating the property required striking a delicate balance between meeting the needs of a modern family while staying true to the style and scale of the home’s original grandeur. Almost all of the home’s public spaces used a palette of French limestone accented by dark, neutral colors.
“We wanted to have an important room which would be much deeper in tone,” says Mary Douglas Drysdale, the project’s interior designer. “The owner had a picture of a green room in a French chateau he had torn out of a magazine, and that was the start of using a rich green tone in this house.”
The family room was chosen for the new color, but because the space featured a prominent view of the rear staircase, Drysdale employed a complementary color scheme there that enhanced the family room’s hue. She then used the staircase as a vehicle to bring a fresh burst of color to the remaining levels. “From the perspective of color,” she says, “the stair hall was a switching station for color on every floor.” —
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.